The Security Council’s Newest Member Is Accused of Killing Thousands of Prisoners

How It Works
Oct. 21 2013 5:05 PM

Nigeria Accused of Killing Thousands

185203052
Nigerian amphibious army advance towards the enemy during a joint military exercise between Nigerian armed forces, United States, Britain, Netherlands and Spain in Lagos on October 18, 2013.

Photo by PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP/Getty Images

The AP’s Michelle Faul suggests that the situation in Northern Nigeria may be even uglier than previously thought:  

Joshua Keating Joshua Keating

Joshua Keating is a staff writer at Slate focusing on international affairs and writes the World blog. 

Overall, the records obtained by The Associated Press for the nine months from Oct. 5 to July 5 indicate that the military is killing thousands in its crackdown on the uprising in northeast Nigeria.
The records cover just one hospital, Sani Abacha Specialist Teaching Hospital in Maiduguri, the birthplace of Boko Haram, the movement fighting to uproot Western cultural influences from a country shared almost equally by Muslims and Christians. In the 30 days before the state of emergency was declared on May 14, 380 bodies were delivered to the hospital by the military. In the 30 days after, the number was 1,321.
For the whole of June, the number was 1,795, making it the worst month in the records seen by the AP, which has also witnessed many of the bodies being delivered to the hospital in military ambulances, escorted by armored cars.
The figure is much larger than the estimated number of Boko Haram fighters.
Advertisement

The article follow another report from Amnesty International, suggesting that “over 950 people died in military custody in the first six months of this year alone.” According to the AP’s records, more than three times that many were killed in this period.

Boko Haram has carried out its own share of atrocities, but reports of what looks like a slow-motion massacre by the Nigerian military are certainly disturbing. Nigeria was one of the five countries elected to the U.N. Security Council last week.  

The U.S. has a longstanding assistance and training relationship with Nigeria’s military, including counterterrorism training. The U.S. has offered more security assistance in the fight against Boko Haram, though Secretary of State John Kerry recently expressed concern over "credible allegations that Nigerian security forces are committing gross human rights violations." 

TODAY IN SLATE

Jurisprudence

Don’t Expect Adrian Peterson to Go to Prison

In much of America, beating your children is perfectly legal. 

Ken Burns on Why Teddy Roosevelt Would Never Get Elected in 2014

Cops Briefly Detain Django Unchained Actress Because They Thought She Was a Prostitute

Minimalist Cocktail Posters Make Mixing Drinks a Cinch

How the Apple Watch Will Annoy Us

A glowing screen attached to someone else’s wrist is shinier than all but the blingiest of jewels.

Books

Rainbow Parties and Sex Bracelets

Where teenage sex rumors come from—and why they’re bad for parents and kids.

Books

You Had to Be There

What we can learn from things that used to be funny.

Legendary Critic Greil Marcus Measures and Maps Rock History Through 10 Unlikely Songs

Catfish Creator Nev Schulman’s Book Is Just Like Him: Self-Deluded and Completely Infectious

Behold
Sept. 12 2014 5:54 PM An Up-Close Look at the U.S.–Mexico Border
  News & Politics
Jurisprudence
Sept. 14 2014 2:37 PM When Abuse Is Not Abuse Don’t expect Adrian Peterson to go to prison. In much of America, beating your kids is perfectly legal. 
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 12 2014 5:54 PM Olive Garden Has Been Committing a Culinary Crime Against Humanity
  Life
Inside Higher Ed
Sept. 13 2014 8:38 AM “You’re More Than Just a Number” Goucher College goes transcript-free in admissions.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 12 2014 4:05 PM Life as an NFL Wife: “He's the Star. Keep Him Happy.”
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 12 2014 5:55 PM “Do You Know What Porn Is?” Conversations with Dahlia Lithwick’s 11-year-old son.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 14 2014 7:10 PM Watch Michael Winslow Perform Every Part of “Whole Lotta Love” With Just His Voice
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 12 2014 3:53 PM We Need to Pass Legislation on Artificial Intelligence Early and Often
  Health & Science
New Scientist
Sept. 14 2014 8:38 AM Scientific Misconduct Should Be a Crime It’s as bad as fraud or theft, only potentially more dangerous.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 12 2014 4:36 PM “There’s No Tolerance for That” Pete Carroll and Jim Harbaugh say they don’t abide domestic abuse. So why do the Seahawks and 49ers have a combined six players accused of violence against women?